The owner reflects on the evolution of music and the generations of customers
For Donna Livengood, it has been strange to experience the ever-changing – and sometimes cyclical – nature of listening to music.
For 35 years, she’s seen people from all walks of life — including, once in 1991, Jon Bon Jovi, who was on a cross-country motorcycle trip — browsing the shelves of her store, Rocky Mountain One Stop.
Now she’s bidding farewell to that era, with the last day to wander through the jumble of her store’s jumble slated for December 24.
“It gets a little more real as we get closer, and so it’s a lot of emotions,” she said. “We will definitely miss it. I will miss the people and being here every day.
Rocky Mountain One Stop opened on Elm Street in Cortez on April 19, 1986, before moving to Main Street and eventually landing at its current location at 330 N. Broadway.
Near closing time on Thursday, and between attending a steady stream of customers, she recalled her ‘one-stop-shop’ business and time there, with the sun setting beyond of the shop’s graffiti-style exterior.
Change of time
In times now gone, Livengood would order CDs and vinyl once a week – back when distributors released thick catalogs every few months listing artists and their albums.
At one point, Livengood had 7,000 vinyl records in stock and thousands more CDs.
When The newspaper visited her gift shop, she had music on her computer – but only because her stereo was broken.
To clarify, Livengood is not subscribed to the streaming service.
She prefers full sound, the kind you can’t get by plugging headphones into your phone or playing your personal playlist in your car.
She remembers borrowing her daughter’s car for a few days and inserting CDs.
When her daughter drove her car again, the music immediately blaring at full blast, she asked Livengood, “What did you do to my car?”
She didn’t know it could sound like that.
And while record players have had a recent resurgence, as they do every few years, Livengood said, she appreciates record players with high-quality needles. They cost at least $60, she says.
“You’ll hear things you didn’t know were in there. You will hear different instruments and you will hear the real music,” she said.
Despite modern trends, Livengood does not conform to contemporary music listening practices.
“It’s all streaming, it’s all digital – digital compressed music,” she said. “You had this big, full, rich, warm sound and you compressed it.”
Although people no longer carry vinyl, she said listeners simply weren’t treated to the same listening experience typical of decades past.
The store’s shelves reflect Livengood’s hold on musical tradition, piling up sounds that span the last century.
More than music
The store didn’t stop at music.
Described as an “everything” store on its website, the establishment has been something of a treasure trove, offering music, jewelry, instruments, sheet music, incense, board games, playing cards and other trinkets.
Thus, the expansive and all-encompassing term “One Stop” adorned the store’s name.
Livengood fondly referred to her husband, Matt, who has been with the company for 22 years.
He was shopping in his store when they met.
“All I can say is the community has been great with us,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, and it’s all thanks to their support.”
The couple agree that this final chapter is bittersweet.
“It’s kind of sad, but at the same time, it feels good to do something different,” Matt said.
An avid player of the “Magic the Gathering” trading card game, he helped turn the store into something of a hub for other enthusiasts.
Hosting “magical” events in the store and traveling to others, Livengood reflected on the frequent late nights, some of which extended into weekends. At one point, the store was hosting preview parties starting at midnight.
“They think about ‘magic’ around the clock,” Livengood said of the people she affectionately called “nerds.”
Whatever a customer’s reason for entering the store — music, magic or otherwise — Livengood always designed it as a “safe space” — a place where everyone felt comfortable, he said. she stated.
Interest in the store has become generational. Livengood was always amused when she saw school-age children bringing their parents into the store, thinking they were showing them something new. Many of these parents “used to hang out here all the time,” she said.
“It’s a great place to be able to come and get a random thing you need on a whim,” Ole Bye said, shopping for a Christmas present for his friend.
He preferred to buy drumsticks and guitar strings there rather than online.
The store is “niche,” he said.
“It’s Rocky Mountain One Stop,” Livengood said simply, when asked to rank the store.